En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 23, 2007

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Control of ball moss in oak trees
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in San Marcos, Texas and I have a two acre lot with lots of oak trees. Most of these trees have so much ballmoss attached to them that the leaves and branches are not visible anymore. Is there anything I can do about this without damaging the trees? Any preventing measures that I can take to prevent the propagation of the ballmoss to the few healthy trees left?

ANSWER:

Ball moss Tillandsia recurvata (small ballmoss) is an interesting plant, but it can also be a pest. The good news is that it is not parasitic, however it can cause harm to the host tree by shading buds and young leaves. Control can involve physical removal (carefully), spraying with Kocide, or spraying with baking soda. See Texas Cooperative Extension Horticulture for details. Removing damaged limbs, thus eliminating ball moss plants that serve as a seed source, can limit the spread of new plants to uninfected trees.

 

From the Image Gallery


Small ball moss
Tillandsia recurvata

More Pests Questions

Ticks on native grasses in Katy, TX.
July 23, 2012 - Are there native grasses that are less susceptible to tick infestation than others?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native parsley from Brooklyn NY
June 17, 2012 - Had beautiful flat leaf parsley plants recently turn yellow & die. Found black armadillo like bugs bored throughout the roots. Now they're spreading. How do I kill them without contaminating the pla...
view the full question and answer

Webs on trees and porch
August 21, 2008 - i have webs all over my semi covered porch in my back yard. i have noticed these small webs are also on the trees in my backyard. what are they and are they dangerous to the trees or my family who sit...
view the full question and answer

Goat damage to Arizona Cypress from Palmdale CA
June 28, 2012 - My goats stripped the bottom branches of my Arizona Cypress. Will they come back and how can I prevent future damage?
view the full question and answer

Sticky stuff dripping from non-native crape myrtle in Austin
August 01, 2012 - There is sticky sap-like stuff dropping from the very large crepe myrtle in my yard. The tree has quit blooming. This didn't happen last year when it was so dry; it started after we had all the rain ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center